The Government's controversial Home Information Packs were extended yesterday to include three bedroom properties newly put up for sale.
The move means that anyone selling a home with three or more bedrooms will now have to compile one of the packs.
The Government had initially limited the packs to properties with four or more bedrooms when it launched them at the beginning of August due to fears that not enough energy assessors had been trained.
But it announced last month that there were now enough energy assessors for the packs and energy performance certificates to be rolled out to three bedroom homes.
It added that it would be making an announcement about the inclusion of smaller properties in the scheme in due course. The packs, which include an energy performance certificate (EPC), standard searches and evidence of title, aim to speed up the house buying and selling process by giving consumers more of the information they need up front.
They also aim to reduce the number of sales that fall through. At the moment about 30 per cent currently collapse between offer and exchange, the equivalent of around 500,000 transactions a year, leading to £350 million being wasted in fees. The packs were originally going to include a home condition report or survey, but this element was dropped by the Government in June last year.
Since then it has put increasing emphasis on the environmental benefits of the packs, claiming the EPC could help families save hundreds of pounds on their fuel bills and cut a million tonnes of carbon a year.
The packs have endured a rough ride since plans for them were first announced, with critics claiming they added to the cost of selling a home while bringing little benefit to the consumer. Property experts also warned not enough work had been done on how they would affect the housing market as a whole, with some claiming they would lead to a slump in sales due to the upfront cost people now faced when putting their home on the market.